New era for Lindsey House | About the city
For over a decade, Lindsey House has helped many single mothers with children transition from situational homelessness to empowering them with the knowledge and skills to live successfully and independently as a family.
The non-profit organization started in 2010 downtown in a small building located at E. 6th St. and S. Elgin Ave., where up to a dozen families lived.
Today Lindsey House, 1607 North Hartford Avenue, can accommodate up to 24 families at a time in a new 22,000 square foot facility with many amenities, including a playground and a children’s bike area.
“We are serving more families than ever before, but there is room for children to be children,” says CEO Maggie Hoey, who joined Lindsey House in August. âThere is a backyard where they can cycle and chalk on the sidewalk. There’s a playground, a soccer field, all kinds of things where they can just thrive. They are growing up here and building these healthy relationships with each other and not having to worry about some of the things they might have had to worry about in the past. “
On Friday, October 8, Lindsey House officials are celebrating the completion of the world’s largest transitional living center with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m., followed by tours of the facilities open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon.
âWe are really proud of this facility, and the community has been incredibly generous in supporting the fundraising campaign to make this happen,â Hoey said. “We can’t wait for people to come and see what we see and experience every day.”
Hoey joined Lindsey House after a decade of experience in the nonprofit community food bank in the Tulsa region of Eastern Oklahoma, Tulsa Habitat for Humanity, Iron Gate, as well as regional chamber jobs. from Tulsa and to the city of Tulsa.
We toured the property to see the fully furnished apartments and new amenities, and learn more about the program’s needs in a question-and-answer session with Hoey.
What made you want to join Lindsey House as the new CEO / Chairman?
I have always admired Lindsey House from afar. I think their mission touched so many angles for me: to break the cycle of generational poverty, addiction or abuse. It’s this perspective of empowering women that really speaks to me. I think it’s really just the transformation opportunity here.
There are few nonprofits in town that really have the capacity to provide full service to completely change people’s lives for a generation, and that really spoke to me. Certainly that spoke to me after 2020 and a year that I think has really highlighted the inequalities and challenges in our community. I wanted to take a more active role in helping these situations, so here I am.
How does it feel to come to work and see kids running around and having fun and their mothers cooking together and knowing that it’s all part of the process of your job?
Every day is incredibly rewarding. These women and children have been through so much, and they have seen so much that is truly unfathomable from my own life experiences. But they’re really thriving here, and it’s so exciting to see.
It’s so exciting to see that we can provide this place where their families can heal and learn the skills to live successful independent lives after moving from here. These women are resilient. They work hard. They have so much love for their family and their children. They have so much hope for the future that they can create, and they are creating it together here.
Every day I leave thinking, âMy God, I’m so lucky to have a front row seat for the stories these families are writing hereâ.
How many people are living here now?
24 women and just over 40 children currently live at Lindsey House.
That’s a lot of kids.
It’s so many kids. And I think it’s a cool environment to grow up in, even for a short time.
The youngest child here is six months old. It’s just a baby until the age of 15 and roughly evenly split between younger children and elementary-age children and older children. So yes, you have a built-in group of friends, the playground is a popular place, the porch, the community, the great hall where they can have their meals together. Everyone has their own apartment and family unit, but everyone is an extension of that family here.
These families go from living alone with their children in a dangerous environment to suddenly among a community of like-minded people working to achieve the same goals.
I think one of the most special things about Lindsey House is this community aspect, and it’s hard to quantify that or really quantify it in any way.
These women know they have a built-in support system when they move here. It’s just a flaw and the kids have this support system because they go to school together. They make friends. They live together, and I think that is something very positive not only for the women, but also for their children.
What is the process for those who move into Lindsey House, and does it end when they graduate from the program?
The women here take a curriculum that includes financial skills, workplace skills, and life skills.
They meet weekly with a case manager. They have homework, they practice this kind of responsible lifestyle. So it takes a year. After completing this program, they can stay for up to another full year, while they put everything they’ve learned into place, and we encourage them to keep saving and paying the program fees because they’re going to get out of here with all that money. It’s going to be a down payment on a house for some or a rent and deposit at an apartment complex.
Then we have something called the Ladder Program which supports them after they leave. It makes it a bit easier to transition from a place like this to paying market rent elsewhere, so we would help cover some of their rent for a while. It’s kind of a staircase going down so they have an easier adjustment to make.
Once you are part of Lindsey House, you are still part of Lindsey House. Our pantry is open not only to current participants, but also to program alumni. Our clothing wardrobe too, and really our case managers are there to support people forever.
You just mentioned the pantry and the clothes closet. How can Tulsans help you?
Yes, so by moving into this facility we have a designated pantry for families. People are welcome to bring shelf-stable items that we can put in the pantry, and we also have a refrigerator for fresh produce and a freezer for frozen meals or frozen meats.
Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. People can just drop any of these items here between these hours, and we’ll put it right in the pantry for families to access.
Regarding clothing, we ask people if they have any seasonally appropriate, lightly worn clothing that we could provide for women or children here. We always love clothing donations.
We are currently working on Halloween costumes to make sure all of our kids have Halloween costumes. So there are many ways you can support Lindsay House by helping meet the needs of the families here.
For more information on the Open House and to find out more about Lindsey House, visit www.lindseyhouse.org.